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Last Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Kazakh leader's son-in-law held

President Nursultan Nazarbayev
President Nazarbayev has a stormy relationship with his son-in-law
Austrian police have arrested the son-in-law of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is wanted on kidnapping charges in his country.

Rakhat Aliyev was sacked as ambassador to Austria on Saturday, amid an escalating family feud.

The Kazakh authorities accuse him of ordering the abduction of two bankers. Mr Aliyev says the case is aimed at destroying his political ambition.

An Austrian court is to rule on Kazakhstan's extradition request.

"He was arrested on Friday afternoon on the order of the court in Vienna after visiting his barber," a police spokesman said.

Kazakhstan had sent a team of prosecutors to Vienna to secure his arrest.


Mr Aliyev says the charge that he was involved in the kidnapping of two former officials of the Kazakh bank Nurbank are fabricated, and designed to stop him standing for president.

He has told the BBC he wants to bring reform to Kazakhstan.

"We should create a democratic civil society in line with European standards," Mr Aliyev said at the weekend.

President Nazarbayev has been in office for 17 years.

Last month he strengthened his rule by changing the law to allow him to run for the presidency as many times as he likes.

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